Brad Childress out but was he the problem?

The Brad Childress Era in Minnesota is over.


The team relieved the head coach of his duties Monday morning.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will take over as the interim head coach.

Childress, 54, compiled a 39-35 regular-season record in five seasons in Minnesota, including 3-7 this season. He guided the Vikings to a 1-2 mark in the playoffs.

The team had visions of a Super Bowl berth after quarterback Brett Favre put together perhaps his finest season in 2009 and the Vikings went 12-4.

But things went sour quickly, as the Vikings lost three of their first four games. Then the team acquired embattled receiver Randy Moss, then, only weeks later, Childress released Moss without consulting owner Zygi Wilf. It was then that Childress’ job security appeared at its most tenuous.

The firing comes one day after the Vikings were embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers 31-3, their second loss in a row.

Childress also had a increasingly combative relationship with likely Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, who signed with the Vikings as a free agent before the 2009 season.

Vikings fire Childress; should beat writers lose jobs, too?


The Minnesota Vikings fired head coach Brad Childress today, but what has my Twitter stream fired up is whether the local beat writers should go, too.

The argument goes something like this: the local sportsfolk haven't broken the biggest Vikings stories this year, including Brett Favre's return, the Randy Moss trade, and now, Chili's firing. Depending on how you parse out credit, the scoops belonged to ESPN, the NFL Network and Fox Sports. So why should, say, the Strib have three guys working the Vikings/NFL beat when they can't bring home the biggest stories — especially when less sexy but more important news beats have one or no reporters?

Comment: My own take is that Favre is a problem and should not be retained. Whoever at the Vikes made the decision to bring back Randy Moss should also be fired. As for Brad. I liked him and considered him a good coach. Since he just signed a contract extension a year ago, the guy probably will never need to work again. Enjoy your holidays watching the NFL instead of being in the maelstrom and melodrama of the Minnesota Vikings.

From 1 year ago:

The Minnesota Vikings signed Brad Childress to a contract extension that will keep the coach with the team through the 2013 season, a source told ESPN.com Thursday.

Financial terms weren't immediately available but the deal is believed to be between $4 million and $5 million a year, the source said. In 2006, Childress signed a five-year, $10 million contract, which was scheduled to expire after the 2010 season.

"Brad has done a tremendous job leading this football team and we value the positive environment he has created for the Minnesota Vikings on and off the field," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement. "He has continued to positively impact this team and create a strong foundation for future success."

A note to Zygi Wilf. I will not pay for your stadium. Move your second rate team to a second tier TV market like Las Vegas!


  1. Brad C walks away with ...

    Vikings fire Childress; Frazier interim coach

    Childress, 54, signed a contract extension through 2013 last November but it was reported last week that the final year is the team’s option and that Wilf will have to pay Childress $6.6 million for 2011 and 2012.

  2. I am appalled that you would advocate getting rid of Favre--as a Bears fan, I love him this year!


    Vegas Vikings seems to reflect the tradition of pillage, too.

  3. The great thing about being an NFL fan instead of a Vikings fan is that I enjoy watching football. Like the Indy / New England game yesterday or the Giants / Eagles (but I fell asleep with 2 min to go)

    I have little tolerance for poor play. I turned off the Vikes yesterday.

  4. More from the NFL

    Role reversal: This time Favre drives Childress out of Minnesota

    Childress' days as the Vikings' coach were pretty well numbered when, upon Favre's arrival in Minnesota, he picked up the quarterback at the airport. Childress understood all too well that his team's chances of being a contender hinged on the hope that Favre still had plenty of those dynamic plays left in his tank. But recognizing a player's importance is one thing. Doing something for him that wasn't done for any other player on the team was going way over the top.

    From that moment forward, Favre wasn't merely the Vikings' new quarterback. He was their coach, too. He had far greater power and influence over the team than Childress could ever hope to have, and that severely hampered Childress' credibility as the man in charge.

    There were rules for Favre, who could stay away from offseason workouts and anything else that he didn't feel like doing, and there were rules for the rest of the team. Why did Favre have to come to the Vikings' facility in the offseason when Childress would make a trip to Mississippi to visit him? That is, when the coach and other players on the team weren't texting him to gauge how he felt about coming back for a second season.

    The entire tail-wagging-the-dog atmosphere created obvious tension between Favre and Childress, who also didn't always see eye-to-eye on the offensive scheme and how game plans were designed and other points that put authority to the test.

    But 10 games into his second season here and 20th in the NFL, Favre no longer has the game to justify extra-special treatment, if it ever was justified. Childress' firing isn't going to suddenly turn Favre into a better player.

    Allowing him to remain the Vikings' starting quarterback is silly. It comes off as a cheap way to extend his "Ironman" streak and accomplishes nothing beyond preventing the team from at least giving some meaningful playing time to Tarvaris Jackson. Is Jackson the Vikings' quarterback of the future? Maybe not. But he certainly has more of an NFL future than Favre.


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